By Anshul Tewari:
Youth Ki Awaaz turns 7 today! Every day in the last 7 years has been about challenging the norm. When I started, there was barely any space for citizen driven media or public opinion platforms to exist. One of the biggest challenges that the media faces today is to be true to its ideals of bringing out the harsh realities of the world and ensuring that people are informed. Last year, in particular, saw a turbulent phase in the Indian media. What it also saw was the ambitious rise of online journalism – with global platforms setting base in India and Indian ones growing fast. However, even today, participatory platforms find little or no space to exist. Over the past 7 years, YKA has been a platform for over 30,000 young people to speak up on issues that we know will never see the light of the day in the traditional media. From a young girl challenging the discriminatory rules on her campus – leading to a cross campus movement on YKA, to tens of young girls and women coming out with extremely personal narratives of violence – all to challenge what the society believes is ‘okay’ and taboo. A young man fighting for his father stuck in a middle eastern civil war; initiating the conversation on issues that we often shy away from, to successes of remote communities where the power hungry only travel for votes – every day at YKA has been about challenging the norm that we set out against.
And what better way to do it than with a team of some of the most passionate young people you’ll ever come across. The team that made all this happen – the last 7 years – has been instrumental beyond measure. It was the true power of volunteerism that sailed YKA in the initial years – through some of the toughest and most challenging times (and of course the successes and fun times too) and it is the passion to build something amazing that drives us now.
This team, their passion to change the world, the writers who break barriers and overcome tremendous challenges to speak up, the 2 million amazing readers every month are what drive us to stick to our values – to build a business that sustains without selling its soul. A media company that really believes in the power of the people, their rights and their choices. Here’s to the 7 years, and to many more. We’re just getting started. Thank you for being the stellar support system that you all are!